Christmas 2013 Update

Guess what?! This is a reasonably timely post! Woohoo!

Christmas was fantastic this year. We went to the 4:00 service at St. Julian’s on Christmas Eve. The kids both opted not to be in the pageant, but we enjoyed watching the other children. It was the perfect service for our squirmy kiddos. There were plenty of other wiggly, not-quite-silent children there, so ours were perfectly comfortable and I spent very little time worrying about their activity level. Isaac even held a lit candle through an entire song and didn’t catch anything on fire! ūüôā

We had chili from the slow cooker that night, so it was a nice relaxing meal time. We watched Elf to unwind before bed.

Kids went to bed at semi-reasonable hours and then Todd and I finished our Santa prepping. I think we did pretty well – we were in bed by 11:30, which was better than I expected. Isaac may still have been singing in his room at that point…

He ended up sleeping late because he’d been too excited to fall asleep the night before. Laine awoke at 8:30 and Isaac woke about 10 minutes later. That worked out just FINE for Mom and Dad!

Isaac was the first to unwrap a gift, of course:

Laine got a helmet because she keeps trying to ride Isaac’s bike and she generally moves too quickly for our comfort.

Isaac got some new Lincoln Logs to supplement the set he got from Aunt Kristin and Uncle Dave last year. We have spent the majority of 12/26 building with the two sets combined.

Laine had to take a brief respite to carry on with all of the unwrapping.

The kids got Todd a coffee mug for work. It has pictures of the 2 of them on it. Isaac helped him open it.

Jackson got an enormous chew bone, but was moving too fast for me to get a good shot of him with it.

One of the favorite gifts of the day was the tent from Todd’s sister, Shannon, and her family. Isaac even slept in it in his room last night. This thing is going to get a LOT of use.

It was fun to watch Laine carefully pull tiny pieces of wrapping off of boxes while Isaac yanked them open as fast as possible. It’s hard to know how much is difference in dexterity versus temperament.

I have learned that I apparently have an addiction to BBC programming. Some of my favorite gifts were a Tardis mug from my sister, Doctor Who and Sherlock shirts, and a Harry Potter/Doctor Who necklace. Todd also got me the full set of Harry Potter Blu-Ray discs. (He also got me tickets to see Wicked in Austin next March, but that’s not related to the BBC. I got him the box-set of West Wing on DVD – also not from the BBC.)

The kids were excited about gifts from Aunt Kristin and Uncle Dave. 

“It’s mine and I love it!”

Laine and I checked out Bell, who is Jingle’s new best friend. Isaac never calls her Bell – she’s just “Jingle’s best friend.”

Isaac got a new soccer goal and ball set, which I think he’ll enjoy.

Laine got “Rody” who is a bouncing horse. This thing is hilarious!

The dress-up box from Grandma and Grandpa was a success. Laine tried on virtually every hat at least once. Todd and I also had fun with the different hats. 

Nana got Laine a little purse to carry around. She also received a picnic basket. She loves to carry things around in the crook of her elbow. This is how I expect her to look for a few weeks now:

The phone was also tremendously exciting. I guess it’s in the genes…

Nana also got Isaac this nifty drill set. He has had ¬†a BLAST putting all of the screws/bolts into the tray and taking them out again. He usually uses the drill, but also experimented with the wrench. He doesn’t have much patience for the screwdriver.

Elke, Christian, and Milena came over for supper, as has become our annual tradition. I made my first Christmas goose and will definitely do it again. Meanwhile, Christian entertained all of the kids…

Today, Rody continues to be well-used. I laugh every time Laine gets on this thing. She doesn’t have any interest in holding on so that she doesn’t fall off…

Not to be outdone:

Rainy Day Videos

I took these videos a couple of weeks ago while Todd was in Switzerland, but then forgot to post them to the blog. Oops. Sorry the rain is so loud on the umbrella in the first 2 videos. It blocks out a lot of Isaac’s chattering, so you can’t tell what he’s saying. It wasn’t actually raining when we left the house about 3 minutes before I started recording.

After he finally left the puddle, I actually poured about 1/2 cup of water out of each of his boots.

Update on the Kids

Elaine is the perfect baby. She fell asleep (again!) while I was putting Isaac down for his nap. I take pictures to document that this can actually happen because I still don’t believe it. ūüôā

She is just as cute, however, when she’s awake:

Isaac in the yard with some of his trucks:

Isaac and his new bubble maker. Jackson in tow to chase the bubbles:

Trucks in the dirt! There is still dirt around the garage side of the house. Isaac is very relieved.

As you can see:

Nana (my mom) is visiting for a week. Todd is going to Europe again. He’ll only be gone for a week this time, but I’m glad to have the company and the help…

Finally, this is how Isaac decided to rearrange our living room today… by taking every single toy out of the toy box:

Last Day in the Dirt

Sod was delivered this morning. Photos on that to follow in a post later. Maybe today. Maybe next week. LOL

This was yesterday. Playing bus:

Mom sitting on one of Isaac’s trucks:

Trucks on the pool:

I was excited about this, even though it seems like a small thing. Isaac carried 3 toys. He has one in the crook of his arm. That’s the first time I’ve seen him do that. I have done it a few zillion times, so it was neat to see him learn he could do it, too.

Laine stayed inside and snoozed. She’s not much for hot weather…

My view while sitting on the truck:


Arves brought us a super-cool bubble maker gun from Malaysia. Isaac and Jackson love it.

Helping Daddy dig in the front yard.

Todd installing a sprinkler head:

The sprinkler head:

Missing Nestle

As you are probably aware, this week I said good-bye to the cat I got in college. Nestle was with me for 12 years. I realized tonight that he was with me for 1/3 of my life. That’s a pretty long time and it’s going to take some time to adjust to life without him. He’s been avoiding us most of the time for at least the last year or so – pretty much since Isaac has been able to chase him. He had stopped eating most of his food. It took a while for us to notice this because Jackson would go in after Nestle stopped eating and take the leftovers. When I took him to the vet on Monday, Nestle had lost over 5 pounds (more than 25% of his body weight).

Last Friday night, Nestle was limping. Severely. We decided to wait until morning to see if he was better. Saturday morning, he was still limping but less, so we thought maybe he’d just pulled something and it would take a few days to heal. Sunday night, however, he was barely walking. I called the vet on Monday and dropped him off. They had to sedate him to do x-rays. They didn’t see anything major on the x-ray, but noted the decreased weight and ran some blood tests. I brought Nestle home with some paid meds and we tried to make the hall bathroom comfortable for him. We figured he’d be close to his food, water, and litter, and not too close to Isaac or Jackson. I had thought the pain medication would help, but it didn’t seem to. He was lethargic and wouldn’t move much. I took him back to the vet on Thursday because he was eating less than half his food and they wanted to do a sonogram to see if anything else was going on. The vet diagnosed him with “hepatic lipidosis.” In layman’s terms, he was a fat cat who stopped eating. His body started metabolizing the fat and was overwhelming his liver. They gave me some pills to help the liver function, 2 new types of food to try, B12 vitamins, an appetite stimulant, more pain meds, and something for joint support (they found arthritis when they reviewed the x-rays again). I brought him home on Thursday evening and we opened up his carrier, but set it in the bathroom so he could get out at his leisure. We took the lid off of it to medicate him that night.

Friday morning, Nestle hadn’t gotten out of his carrier. He’d gone to the bathroom and couldn’t seem to get up. He hadn’t eaten his dinner, even though it was dry food (his favorite). I checked in on him throughout the day, but he was obviously not improving. At about 3:00, I looked in on him and he just looked sad. And hurt. And I knew it was time. I called my friend Amalia. She came to the vet with the kids and me. She kept Isaac entertained in the waiting room and outside while I visited with the vet.

The vet gave Nestle a tranquilizer. I petted on him while he fell asleep. Then she gave him the medicine that stopped his heart. He passed away very peacefully. I know he isn’t suffering any more.

As much as he drove me nuts, I really miss him. I hope that he’s across the Rainbow Bridge eating lots of delicious carbs and resting in soft, enclosed, warm, sunny spots.

Isaac: Halloween, Grandparents, and General Goofiness

Todd’s parents have been in town, so I have been busy having non-computer-related fun for the last week+ and haven’t bothered with much blogging. ¬†Since I know you would like to know what Isaac has been up to, here are a few shots from Halloween, Wurst Fest, visits with Grandma and Grandpa, and some general tom-foolery. ¬†We have had a great few weeks!!!

Isaac dressed as a Hokie Bird for Halloween. ¬†I tried to get photos. ¬†I call this, “I’m not looking at you…”

“I’m still not looking at you…”


Oreos: ¬†it’s what’s for Halloween dinner. ¬†ūüôā

Silly boy on the stairs

Isaac has found a new fun toy.  My shoes.  

All of them…

A demonstration:

Grandma and Grandpa brought a drill that was once Todd’s when he was a little boy. ¬†It has been a HIT with Isaac. ¬†After all of those months watching Daddy with his drill working on projects, now Isaac can work on his own.

Does this fit here?

Yes!  It does!  Now how do I pull the trigger?

Thanks, Grandma!

A little help from Daddy…

Figuring out the drill:

He loves this toy (and Grandpa is giving Mom a hard time, as you can hear in the “background”) LOL

Fixing his rocking chair…

He actually did get the drill piece into the hole where the screw is holding the chair together.

Playing with Grandpa, Jackson, and, of course, the drill set.  I guess I am going to have to face facts that my son is probably going to want to be an engineer.  Or a contractor.  LOL

Mr. Fix-It

Trying to figure out Grandpa’s creation with the drill set pieces:

Playing with Grandpa and Jackson:

Rivets on the couch!

Jackson and Grandma are fun!

Sneak attack headed for the dog:

Tackle!  (Yes, we have the best dog EVER)

Showing off his climbing skills:

Walking around Wurst Fest with Daddy:

Having lots of fun!

Up close and personal with a member of the band:

Mommy sandwich!

My parents love me:

Sleepy boy at the condo (day after Wurst Fest):

Bagel for breakfast:

Isaac wants YOU!

Sweet, sweet boy…

Shopping with Daddy:

…Avoiding shopping with Grandpa:

Cutie in the high chair:

A total ham:


Playing at the park with Grandma:

Dancing with Daddy in Walburg, TX on a Friday night:

Little charmer (one of my favorite pictures):

One of the few shots of Isaac standing still in our back yard.  I love this picture!

Back yard fun with Jackson:

Favorite Toys

This was taken on my iPhone today. ¬†Note the plethora of “appropriate” baby toys in the background. ¬†Note that they are the toys he was sitting in when he decided to crawl over and grab this toy instead… ¬†Jackson is not going to understand what’s happened to his peace and quiet…

(In case you can’t tell from the white on white in this photo, Isaac is holding a well-chewed “Nyla” dog bone).

Isaac’s First Allergy Test

Isaac and I went to the pediatric allergist for the first time today. ¬†She had the results from his earlier blood tests. ¬†It shows he is not allergic to dairy, but is allergic to eggs. ¬†This is good and bad. ¬†Isaac is lactose intolerant, even if he’s not allergic to dairy products, so I am still not able to add them back to my diet. ¬†I am a little bummed to hear that he is allergic to eggs, too, though. ¬†This makes things like flu shots more challenging if we choose to get them. ¬†I haven’t completely eliminated eggs from my diet, nor do I intend to do that. ¬†I will just try not to eat them too often. ¬†I am already reading all of the labels for milk products and I avoid them completely. ¬†I just don’t think eggs cause quite as severe a reaction, so I’m less worried. ¬†The allergist ordered some additional blood tests, so we went upstairs to the lab and he had to have his arms stabbed. ¬†Again. ¬†Darn it. ¬†The tech at this lab was MUCH better, however, and Isaac didn’t shed so much as a tear. ¬†He was quite a little champ!

The doctor also prescribed Isaac a new lotion for his eczema. ¬†She said there are no steroids in the cream, which was a concern for me, but that it can be used to prevent some of the flare-ups. I forgot to get the scrip filled on our way home (3.5 hours after we originally left the house!), so I’ll have to let you know how that works a little later.

In other news, autumn has definitely arrived in Austin. ¬†The trees in our front yard are changing colors and we’re bundling up in jackets when we go out. ¬†We went for a family walk (minus Nestle) on Saturday morning. ¬†Isaac’s new hat was just what he needed to keep his little bald head warm!

He also got in some play time with Dad and Jackson in the afternoon while Mom and Dad watched some football.  Jackson is getting a little more interested in Isaac.

Auntie Kristin and Uncle Dave got Isaac a “Hug-A-Bible” for his baptism. ¬†Isaac is totally captivated by the soft cover on the outside of the book. ¬†I’ve read him the stories, but he also just enjoys playing with the cover on it.

Just Another Day

There’s not much to report from Austin today since I managed to get 3 posts up last night. ¬†Isaac is currently sleeping, although I forgot to give him his Tylenol, so we’ll see how long it lasts… ¬†We went to Crawlers/Toddlers yoga this morning and he crashed for a really good nap in the car on the way home. ¬†I just had to take every back-road available to make sure he was in the car long enough and didn’t wake up the second I walked him into the house. ¬†When he woke up, I gave him some milk before feeding him some squash. ¬†I guess I’d fed him too much before this because he doesn’t normally make as big a mess as he did today. ¬†He had fun with his squash. ¬†I got some cute pictures that I just have to share.

I did take the spoon away when I got concerned that he was going to either choke or impale himself on it.  :o)

After the squash explosion, of course, I had to give Isaac a bath. ¬†This was an interesting experience because we took out the little piece he used to be able to “sit” on in his little tub. ¬†I seriously thought he was going to drown himself. ¬†With me there. ¬†Holding on to him with both hands. ¬†He scared me half to death, although he didn’t seem to notice. ¬†He is able to sit up well enough in the tub – unless I’m rubbing soap on him. ¬†That makes him a bit wobbly and then he just tries to put his face in the water. ¬†As you might imagine, I’m not such a fan of that.

Isaac is pushing up ever farther on his arms. ¬†Today, he managed to push himself backwards some with his arms, so he’s starting to realize he can use them for mobility.

Here’s a quick video. ¬†He was quite the energetic little fellow this afternoon. ¬†(Mom, for the record, Nestle walked by just after I turned off the camera, so Isaac started gunning for him, instead).